Dating App Lulu Becomes Part of Online Dating Service Badoo

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Badoo Acquires Lulu

Lulu, a dating app designed to help women rate and share information about the men they date, has become part of online dating giant Badoo.

Lulu has had an interesting history. Founded in 2011 by Alexandra Chong, the app was originally created to help women have a safer online dating experience by encouraging them to communicate with other women over the app about the men they dated. Users were given the ability to rate their dates according to looks, humor, ambition, and even sexual prowess. They could also add pre-made hashtags for more detailed examples describing a man, like #OneWomanMan, #WillActSilly or #EpicLaugh.

The app took off among women, but men felt they were being unfairly judged or even bullied by women using the app. Some complained that the app itself was sexist and shallow. Since these reports, Lulu has allowed men to see their ratings, hashtags, and edit information about themselves.

Chong has been named President of Badoo in the deal, and will be seeing global expansion for the Badoo brand as well as managing Lulu in-house. "Badoo is a natural fit for the Lulu community. In line with Lulu’s vision, Badoo is committed to providing the very best online dating experiences for women in particular,” Chong said in a statement released by Badoo. She added that Badoo’s CEO Andrey Andreev and his team “have done an outstanding job growing the product into a truly global community offering a unique local experience for its users.”

Despite being in the shadows of more well-known sites like Plenty of Fish and Match, Badoo is a major player in the online dating world. The service was founded in 2006, has 300 million users in 190 countries around the world, and 60 million monthly active users. An average active user spends 1.8 hours on Badoo per day, the company says.

Lulu isn’t the first dating app to join Badoo – the company has a portfolio of apps under its belt as well, including the popular Hot or Not and Blendr.

With the acquisition, Lulu’s users will be able to access the profiles and connect with Badoo’s extensive database of users. Instead of just being a messaging and ratings app, it will be a full-fledged dating service.

The big question for Lulu’s future is murky. Current reviews in the Apple and Android stores aren’t favorable. Many people liked the rating system the app pioneered, and are unsatisfied with its new premise, which shows users who on the app is nearby and who they just passed or bumped into, in order to begin a conversation or start dating.

Since launching in the US, the Lulu app has been downloaded by more than 6 million people and is on the phone of one in four US female university undergraduates.

To find out more about the dating service which purchased Lulu you can read our review of Badoo.